Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first installment of InvenGlobal’s Dota 2 rankings. Here, we will give a top-five for each of the six major Dota 2 regions, followed by a global top-10. These rankings are determined by a number of different factors both quantitative (results in tournaments and qualifiers) and qualitative (roster tweaks, the “eye check” and so on).
Going forward, the rankings will display whether teams have moved up or down since the previous installment. We will also discuss the best and worst of the previous month, as well as critical storylines to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
1. Evil Geniuses
2. compLexity Gaming
4. OpTic Gaming
Trending Up- Evil Geniuses’ roster changes may or may not pay dividends. If they don’t, the door is wide open for compLexity Gaming to assert itself as the best team on the continent.
Trending Down- Losing Misery to EG and adding 33 might help out OpTic Gaming in the long term...but it’s likely going to hurt in the short-term as the team adjusts to its new lineup.
What to Watch for in January- Evil Geniuses’ new roster will be quite busy in January, competing at Captain’s Draft 4.0, the Galaxy Battles Major and ESL One Genting. This will serve as an early barometer for how the new lineup will fare.
2. SG E-Sports
3. paiN Gaming
5. T Show
Trending Up- As it stands, Infamous and SG E-Sports are in a two-horse race to be the best team in South America. PaiN Gaming might make that into a three-horse race before long, though.
Trending Down- On the other hand, Sacred flopped at The Summit 8. And boy, did Sacred flop hard. While Infamous and SG are capable of picking up wins on occasion, Sacred went 0-6 in the group stages, taking a decisive last-place finish at the event.
What to Watch for in January- Pain Gaming will either put up or shut up as it competes at Captain’s Draft 4.0 and the Galaxy Battles Major. Strong performances at one or both tournaments could let the team jump into first-place in the region.
1. Team Secret
2. Team Liquid
4. Team Kinguin
5. Planet Dog
Trending Up- While they don’t quite make the cut here, Penta Sports has been looking good in qualifiers in December. The team has the chance to break out in January as it competes at ESL One Genting.
Trending Down- Losing 33 to OpTic Gaming likely isn’t going to be good for Planet Dog. There aren’t many teams behind them that could cause trouble, but this will hurt its ability to climb up higher than fifth in Europe.
What to Watch for in January- Team Liquid and Team Secret are both close to locking up an invite to The International 2018. Depending on how things shake out in January, one or both might be able to take it easy until August.
1. Virtus Pro
2. Natus Vincere
3. Team Empire
4. Team Spirit
5. Vega Squadron
Trending Up- Team Spirit has looked every bit the equal of NaVi and Team Empire in recent qualifiers. A strong performance at the Galaxy Battles Major could shake things up in a big way.
Trending Down- NaVi seemed like it was poised to win any CIS qualifiers that didn’t involve VP but December surges by Empire and Spirit have them on shaky ground. It still owns the second-place spot but it suddenly has a lot of competition.
What to Watch for in January- Empire will be competing at Captain’s Draft 4.0 and (in all likelihood) the Galaxy Battles Major. The team got hot in December, and has to prove that wasn’t an aberration with some solid performances in those events.
2. Vici Gaming
4. Invictus Gaming
5. LGD.Forever Young
Trending Up- An alleged ban placed on EHOME by Chinese tournament organizers was forcibly lifted by Valve last month, and that seemed to breathe some new life into the team as it posted a solid performance at MDL Macau and nearly qualified for the Galaxy Battles Major. The organization could easily force its way up the wide open field of Chinese teams.
Trending Down- LGD Gaming seemed poised to be one of 2018’s best after their impressive run at The International 2017. The sudden departures of Ame and Victoria, however, have put the team into a that makes it decisive underdogs in any tournament it competes in.
What to Watch for in January- Newbee is still one of the most frequent recipients of direct invites in all of Dota 2...but that may change if Vici Gaming can have a big January with strong performances at ESL One Genting and Captains Draft 4.0.
3. TnC Gaming
5. Geek Fam
Trending Up- Fnatic and TnC both took DPC qualifying points in December. Not bad considering they seemed doomed to stay in Mineski’s shadow just a month ago!
Trending Down- Mineski’s white hot start to the 2017-2018 season has cooled off in a big way, with the team participating in just one LAN since October’s PGL Open Bucharest.
What to Watch for in January- Like Evil Geniuses, Mineski will be very busy in January, competing in all three DPC events that month. That allows it to make up for lost time and potentially rocket up the season standings.
1. Team Secret
2. Team Liquid
3. Virtus Pro
5. Vici Gaming
8. Evil Geniuses
As it stands, there are three defined tiers in Dota 2’s pro scene. Secret, Liquid and Virtus Pro are the top tier. Newbee, Vici Gaming and Mineski are the next. Then there’s everyone else. A number of other teams are on the rise, however, and some of the teams formed over the last few months are gelling in a way that could allow them to disrupt this rigid order.
January will have a lot of action that could either cement or disrupt things in a big way. What’s more, it will mark a turning point in the season as the top three teams potentially lock up a direct invite to The International 2018, which will shake up each teams’ schedule.
Disclaimer: The following article was written freely based on the author's opinion, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance.